My Interest in Business Ethics
Areas of Interest
Accountability ; Codes of Conduct ; Consumer Issues - Ethical Consumption ; Corporate Citizenship ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Corruption ; Gender ; Globalization
Me in Brief
I developed an understanding of CSR and business ethics studies while undergoing my Masters in Business Management. I came across case studies where big corporations are gaining huge monetary benefits while ignoring their moral responsibilities. The process of 'globalization' has caused the transfer of a major chunk of first world manufacturing units to the under-developed and developing countries. The biggest reason behind the transfer are the cost savings, arising out of the fact that these countries have huge labour potential, ready to work on low wages. The relocation of production plants including apparels, textiles, shoes, leather, fresh fruits, vegetables and other food articles has created a vast amount of employment opportunities for the third world population.
In the third world, business actions have also produced huge amounts of waste (which pollute the environment) around the manufacturing units, which aren't disposed of properly and workers suffer from long working hours, workplace harassment and filthy working conditions in the production factories. Legislation isn't backed by the respective governments, as they are only concentrating on inward financial investment so; the law is incapable to support the implementation of rules. In the first world, the same organizations sell the products (manufactured in third world) in environment friendly carry bags and publicize their strict monitoring measures in third- world production units, under the name of 'codes of conduct.
NGOs and environment activists have carried out huge campaigns in the past few years to make consumers aware of the actual practices hidden under the 'care for all' mask of multinationals. The reasons behind these campaigns have been to make consumers sit back, think and then, demand the corporate to correct its wrong motives. Big brands have created a huge, loyal consumer base and if consumers want, they can amend the employment practices being followed by their (corporate) suppliers in the third world. The campaigns by ethicists have tried to create awareness but majority of the buyers are still not concerned about the origin of the products they consume, as they consider it to be the responsibility of the provider (which are multinationals) to ensure well-being of the producer and the environment.
I believe that social and environment welfare should be incorporated as a default motive of corporations as these organizations are financed and run by humans. So, all being a part of the same society and environment, owe at least a humane and fair treatment to each other, even though some are fortunate enough to have gotten more privileges, provided by money. Capitalist society has produced wonders in terms of technology, reduction of distances, advancement in medicine and science and much more benefits, but all these benefits shouldn't override the basic structure of humanity. Products are for humans, but today, this concept is being changed by business to 'humans are for products' and thus, helpless workers, who need money and speechless environment, both are being marginalized for the production of these products. Humanity has a tolerance limit and we all need to work together including third world governments, consumers in both the world, NGOs and activists, trade unions and every human being, to make sure that humanity isn't destroyed in capitalism's quest to grow in leaps and bounds.